THE MARTYN FAMILY
The history of the two branches of the North Bay Martyn families can be traced from John Martin, born in the mid 1700’s in Devon County, England. He was the grandfather of William Martyn (spelling of names was often changed as they were recorded in various documents) who immigrated to Durham County in Upper Canada sometime after 1853. He was a shoemaker. William married Ann Slemin who also emigrated from Devon County in England, in 1861. The couple had four children, two of which were sons, William Albert, born 1865 and Frederick John, born 1868. William Albert and Frederick moved to North Bay, Ontario in 1888.
In 1897, Frederick founded The Martyn Funeral Home which to this day has been owned by his descendants; son, lan; grandson George and his wife Ann; and great grandson, lan, who is the present owner. lan is married to Jody (nee Sloan) and he has four children, Zach, Jacob, Sloan and Rowan.
William Albert married Margaret Jamieson in 1891 and the couple had eight children. William became a well-known contractor and was responsible for building many notable buildings in the town of North Bay. William also sat on the North Bay Town Council in 1909 and 1910. He was a championship curler, played baseball, and was very musical, singing in the choirs of Trinity Baptist Church and subsequently St. Andrew’s United Church. He was known as “Black Bill” because of his black hair and large black moustache.
The second youngest of William and Margaret’s eight children was James Irving Martyn, known as Jimmy. He was a well-known businessman in North Bay owning Doan’s Grocery and Martyn Fuels. He acted as Returning Officer for numerous Provincial and Federal elections in the District of Nipissing. Like his father, Jimmy was very musical, playing piano and singing in a barber shop quartet. He was also an excellent curler, winning many bonspiels. Married to Anna Moore, they had two children, Robert James and Mary Lynn.
After obtaining his law degree, Robert James (Rob) became a highly respected lawyer in North Bay where he was born and raised and has remained since 1975. He has been active in many community organizations including the Nipissing Rotary Club, the Capital Centre, the Nipissing District Public School Board, Canadore College and most recently, a director on the North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation.
Rob is married to Judy and they have three children, Jamie, Becky and lan. Mary Lynn has two sons, Christopher and Rob. She is married to Richard Armstrong.
The entire Martyn family has and continues to be proud of its deep connections to the North Bay community.